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Now, the government's decision to restrict crowds at sporting events has dominated the narrative on sport over the past few days. As we gear up for a very busy, busy weekend, there's a Europa League final Champion's League final domestic rugby returns. Katie Taylor is in the spotlight. And then there's the breaking news about Harry Maguire. Shane Hannah Nuvo to be sports is on the line. Shane, good morning. Good morning. How are you?
I'm very well, man. United is my team. The Harry McGuire may not be the best in the world, but a key defender for Manchester United. What's going on in Greece?
Yeah, I was just going to say to you at the start, is it nice to be talking about sport again, actual sport ahead of this weekend? But yeah, there has been a bit of an off field incident. The only thing we know is that United have a club statement. The club is aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire and McInnes in Greece last night. Contact has been made with Harry and he is fully cooperating with the Greek authorities.
So this time we will be making no further comment. So, of course, Harry Maguire, currently the Manchester captain and England International as well, a role model for a lot of people. And the year ahead, it appears he's been involved in some sort of tiff in Greece overnight with his friends there over there on a holiday. So that's all we know for the moment. But, yeah, not good for you early on. A solution won't be too happy.
OK, now, I'm not sure about the UK attitude to travel to Greece. Presume it's on their green list, so there's no implications that is doing anything. And besides, they're now resting after their failure in the Europa League. So presumably it's OK on that front. So it's whatever happened in McInnes will be the focus rather than anything else.
So let's talk sports, though. And we do have that Europa final and we have the Champions League final. Yeah.
So an interesting couple of nights. We've got the Europa League final, of course, tonight. United Manchester, that is could have been there, but of course, lost that semifinal. Too severe, so severe against Inter Milan this evening. But the big one, I guess, that we're all talking about is the Champions League finals. That's this Sunday 8pm Bayern Munich against parricide German Bayern, probably some people's favorites heading into this one, aiming to win their sixth European Cup.
But PSG, a very, very strong team as well. You've got the likes of Kelly, no Benomar in that team and they're playing in their first finals.
So, you know, it's an 11th final for Bayern Munich.
So quite strange that a team of PSG stature if their first time there. But we have heard a lot of the talk in the last couple of days about sports washing. And the emir of Qatar is actually heading over to watch this Champion's League final Lisburn. Of course, he's the one who has pumped so much money into this Paris and German team in recent years. So a little bit of a sour taste for some football fans heading into this one.
But I think to start sort of buying a final by just pumping loads of money and buy the best in the world and you win everything.
It takes away a little bit of the luster of Champions League finals are past. I think the stat I saw part was Neymar and Chilian and Buppie, two of his top players costing more than the entire Bayern Munich squad, the first Lyon and the semifinal. Let's all 23 of them. So that's quite an extraordinary start in itself.
It's something that a lot of football fans, we've seen it in Formula One, you know, the likes of Mercedes pumping money into into their team to win. You know, they get a lot of sponsorship as well. It's seen them rise to the top, clearly talented teams as well. But when you see the likes of this and you know, there's a clip that went viral over recent days, Richie Sadlier speaking about this PSG team and RB Leipzig, who lost the semifinal as well.
They've had red ball pumping money into the into their squads.
So it kind of takes away a little bit from from the the on pitch discussions prematch.
So hopefully we get a decent game and we forget about it. CONCACAF on Sunday evening.
Yeah. I somehow can't bring myself to treat Bayern Munich as an underdog, though. In this particular one, they're pretty rich, too. Yeah, exactly.
So it's it's hard to look at them as underdogs when they've been around for so long as well. But their record this the season has just been extraordinary. The one thing about the likes of PSG and Bayern is that they're so dominant in their domestic leagues that the Champions League really is where they come to life and where their fans can really enjoy it. Did Bayona for ten straight wins in the Champions League? Twenty in all competitions. Probably hard to remember a team coming into a Champions League final in better form.
I mean, Serge Nebris, formerly of West Brom Job and scoring two of the goals in their semifinal win, Robert Laver Dvorsky, who's an extraordinary form for Bayern Munich as well. He's already on fifteen goals for the Champions League this season.
So it's in my opinion, it's hard to see past Munich in this one. And their experience will tell as well.
I mean, in order to win against Barcelona and you have four one against Chelsea in the last six, they're coming up against big teams and really pushing them aside. So it should be an extraordinary final performance.
This festival of football that we've had perforce because of covid-19, as you can imagine, how great that could be, almost like a and many World Cup if you had crowds on top of we've got the sound effects of the moment.
But is there any temptation to kind of concentrate things in future years?
Yeah, I think it's probably been seen this, as you mention. It's kind of like a mini league World Cup style tournament over in Lisbon for the Champions League. And, you know, I'm speaking to Miguel Delaney earlier from The Independent, and he was talking about the fact that Lisbon is so quiet right now. You don't really have fans. A couple of fans have traveled over of the respective teams, but clearly that would be against the advice. It's it's an interesting one and it's gone quite well.
I also think the one legged system that they've employed has done quite well. That probably gives the underdogs more of a chance, Leon. Probably weren't expected to get to a semi-final and they have RB Leipzig the same.
So I think UEFA will be looking at this season as perhaps a blueprint for seasons to come. And, you know, sending teams to out to one city to to play out the rest of the tournament probably isn't the worst idea.
Yeah, the number of times I've heard the pundits say when they're looking at a particular fixture, they say, well, whatever happens tonight over two legs, I can't see Chelsea being beaten or whatever it is.
So it kind of takes away the strength of the first leg.
Yeah, I mean, what happens is that one team might get lucky and the first leg, but the awesome power of the the the favorite comes to bear on the second leg and that's the end of it.
Anyway, let's talk about rugby, because the pro 14 resumes this weekend and I presume there's no question of it being postponed or cancelled. Yeah.
So rugby fans have been quite patient, I can imagine, over the last number of months, five months since we've had any pro 14 action.
So as you said, two big games for the Irish sides this afternoon or this weekend. You've got a Leinster and Monster at the Aviva tomorrow evening. That's at seven for seven thirty five. And then Calicut, I'll start taking on each other. That's Sunday afternoon from half past four.
So there's no real precedent. It's kind of like a pre-season team's coming into these 175 days off would be a remarkably long pre-season. An excuse can't be that they've had not enough time to prepare for these games. But I mean, a series of Landstar talking about his new appreciation for the sport after this time away, be saying you can be kind of a little bit ungrateful or just forget about how lucky you are as a player for one of these top Irish provinces.
So the fans will be excited. There will, of course, be no fans present in the stadium, but it should be a decent game, both especially that monster Leinster. Again, what a game to kick it all off the penultimate round of the regular season before the coveted final series of the games, April 14. So Munster currently second in Conference B, there are two points behind the leaders. Edinburgh ER points ahead of third place Garlett and ten points ahead of Kynect in fourth place for the top two sides that will qualify for the semi-finals.
They'll take place on the first weekend of September. So the team that finished second in most of its conference will take on Leinster in the semi-finals. Nobody wants that. Leinster, of course, probably the strongest team in Europe at the moment. And you have to think back to December to win. The last time Leinster and Munster met Leinster winning that game. Thirty six Rosberg in scoring eight of those points.
But there's really no there's really no form thornber coming into this. It's thrown out the window. But what an extraordinary match that should be.
By the way, worries about Joey Carbury setback in his return from that ankle injury. More time recuperating and that than actually playing.
Yeah, never mind the covid lockdown.
Exactly the fairly worrying news that was coming out of monster, especially the fact that, as you mentioned, it said for an indefinite period of time. So, I mean, this is the ankle injury he picked up during Ireland's World Cup warm up match against Italy last August, which seems like eons ago, but certainly a bad timing for him, especially with rugby coming back. And he said himself, you know, it's incredibly frustrating at the moment. I'm making good progress over the last couple of weeks.
But the fact that he's out for so long, he's only 24 years of age and he's already had so many injury concerns inundated with messages, I'm sure, I'm sure over the last couple of weeks. But that setback is probably a green light for the likes of JJ, JJ Hanrahan.
He is going straight into that monster team for this, but this weekend. So it'll give all the other players a bit of experience, but certainly some some bad news for Joey Carbury.
And let's hope from an Irish perspective as well that he's back playing sooner rather than later and briefly to other things and the GAO and the NFL or NFL guidelines, you know, saying, hang on a second, this doesn't make sense. You know, you've got we had Kieran Dungy on the other day saying, you know, you've got to pitch 400 metres around and you've got, you know, 50 people there, 100 people there.
They can safely, socially distance and all the rest of it.
Where do we stand in clarification for the GAO?
I mean, it seems to be all about the socialising before or after rather than anything that might happen in the ground.
Exactly. A lot of people talking about the parents of children at matches, congregating outside in car parks and talking and that being probably the real danger. But, you know, when you see a golf society dinner is happening and people being separated by a small partition, a lot of people highlighting that, you know, maybe Geet wasn't the most unsafe of these things. Stephen Donnelly perhaps thinks troub trouble lines are a little bit more dangerous, but. There's a little bit more optimism around the G8 this morning and the possible intercounty season, so you'll have seen a lot of the back page this morning that this planned intercounty season that's due to get underway on October 17th because of the no thing over the next three weeks or so, we'd all been thinking maybe this intercounty campaign will be will be stopped.
But the statement from the G8 last night said that their plans to stage the championship still remain under consideration.
So they have increased optimism and appetite for intercounty games, as they've said. So the president of the G8, John Hoare, and Director General Tom Ryan, held a conference call yesterday with CODI Chairpersons, which is where this optimism came out of. They've also promised cardboards cash to be bailed out in the short term basis. You've got this 40 million euro that's going to the FBI and RFU to help them with regard to solvency and continued existence and this tough time.
So I, Croke Park as well, will oversee the team budgets of each county ahead of the trading resumption on September 14th.
So it's a little bit more optimistic. We're looking for the G8 in terms of an intercounty championship, but the next couple of weeks will tell all, and especially ahead of that September 14th training that a decision will have to be made on the championship. Before then, you'd imagine. Mm hmm.
Finally, Shane and fairly briefly, Katie Taylor back in the ring and trying to sort out clarity over who actually won the fight. She won against Delphin Prasoon.
Yeah, a lot of the experts you'll talk to will say that the dolphin pursuing the Belgian probably deserved to win, not the last fight at Madison Square Garden at the start of last year, but it only adds a bit of space to this rematch. You mentioned it's tomorrow night. It's in, if I can. So it's taking place. And Eddie Hearn's backyard, the promoter in in ASX Keddie her start to a professional career, but extraordinary.
She's looking for her 16th straight win essence turning pro.. And the fact that this is a grievance with Delphin Prasoon, she feels aggrieved that she didn't perhaps get the decision. Two of the three judges last time out went for Kerry.
But there has been a few words displayed. There's been a video put up on social media of the two walking past each other and akula little icy stare. They'll have the official weigh in this afternoon as well. In fact, in 90 minutes time at one o'clock. So we'll get to see what what shape both fighters are in. It should be an extraordinary fight and luxury style. She'll be keen to to prove once and for all that she she won that fight last time and deserve to win in a good way.
But it's an endurance backyard's. You know, the crowd as well. We had 15000 at Madison Square Garden last time. No crowd this time, as Katie called it, the purest form of boxing. So it should be a good fight done that. Yes. Tomorrow night fight in in Essex. Shane Hannon of OTB Sports, thank you very much for joining us. You think this week you do it by a lottery ticket, maybe a quick pick, and maybe, you know, the latest winning in Cork was a sweet six point nine million euro in June.
And maybe then you think if someone's going to win it, why not us? The national lottery, it could be you play responsibly. Play for fun.